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Lake Stevens superintendent to retire after 38 years of educational leadership

Lake Stevens School District Superintendent Amy Beth Cook will retire in June 2021. Dr. Cook has dedicated more than 38 years of service to Lake Stevens School District—10 as superintendent. 

“It has been a tremendous honor to serve our students, employees, and the entire Lake Stevens community,” said Dr. Cook. “I look forward to completing this school year with the same passion and commitment that I have given for the past 38 years. This has always been more than just a job for me. The many relationships I created throughout my time in Lake Stevens are what is most important to me. 
The people in this district and community will always hold a special place in my heart.”

Dr. Cook will remain in her position through June 2021. Details of the process to select a new superintendent are being finalized by the Lake Stevens School District Board of Directors, and will be shared once complete. 

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a very unique school year with many challenges. However, this was not a factor in Dr. Cook’s retirement decision. She is looking forward to spending more time with her family—especially her three amazing granddaughters, friends and traveling when it’s safe to do so.

“Of Dr. Cook’s many extraordinary contributions to Lake Stevens’ schools, the most meaningful and lasting impact will be her focus on relationships. Amy Beth understands that learning happens through relationships, and that we are all learners. She has continuously demonstrated that our greatest assets are the people engaged in the critical work of providing every child access to a quality, equitable education. For children, families, district employees and our larger community—from her first kindergarteners 38 years ago, to those who have spent their careers nurturing learning in LSSD—her contributions have literally changed lives.”

A legacy of educational leadership
Dr. Cook got her start as a speech language pathologist and a special education teacher in 1982, and subsequently taught kindergarten. In 1988 she became the assistant principal at Mt. Pilchuck Elementary School, and a year later, principal, where she served for eight years. The following year she took over the principalship of Skyline Elementary School, where she remained for eight years guiding the school to reach some of the highest state test scores in the district and county. During this time she earned the Washington Association of School Administrators Award of Excellence and received a Distinguished Principal Award from the Association of Washington School Principals. From 2005 to 2011, Dr. Cook served as the assistant superintendent for human resources. 

In addition to her leadership within the school district, Dr. Cook is also a member of the Public Health Advisory Committee for the Snohomish Health District. In partnership with Western Washington University, she also recently taught a cohort of school administrators working to earn their superintendent credentials.

Dr. Cook was born and raised in Everett and has strong ties to the region. Her educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology with a minor in elementary education from Western Washington University; a master’s degree in speech pathology and audiology from the University of Washington; a K-12 Principal’s Certificate from the Western Washington University Administration Program, and a doctorate from Walden University. 

Under Dr. Cook’s leadership, Lake Stevens School District made numerous notable accomplishments, including: 

  • Passage of two educational programs levies, and two technology levies
    • 1:1 Chromebook program for students in grades 3-12, and all certificated employees
  • Passage of $116 million school construction bond
    • Building of new Early Learning Center and Stevens Creek Elementary School
    • Modernization and expansion of Lake Stevens High School 
    • Improvements to safety and security in all schools 
    • Districtwide health, educational and infrastructure improvements
  • Creation of the district’s Foundation for Excellence that outlines goals and objectives around Excellence in Teaching & Learning, Technology, Thoughtful Transitions, Community Engagement, and Facilities. 
  • Districtwide grants and professional learning opportunities from Snohomish County to support continued work around Trauma Informed Practices, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support and Social Emotional Learning
  • Student Mental Health Support Specialists at each secondary school who are dedicated to the social, emotional and mental health needs of students
  • Navigating a student enrollment surge of more than 2,500 students over the last 10 years

Lake Stevens School District facts

  • Current enrollment: 8,996 
  • Number of employees: 1,228
    • Largest employer in the city of Lake Stevens